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Immediate Family:

Wife of Tiberius Claudius (Balbillus) Thrasyllus
Mother of Tiberius Claudius Capitolinus and Claudia Capitolina

Managed by: Taylor Sills
Last Updated:

About N.N.

Many family trees have Aka of Commagene as the wife of Tiberius Claudius Balbillus

The reason for her identity is from an engraving left by Julia Balbilla a Roman poet on the legs of the Colossi of Memnon.

The relevant passage:
"For pious were my parents and grandfathers:
Balbillus the Wise and King Antiochus;
Balbillus, the father of my mother of royal blood and King Antiochus, the father of my father. From their line I too draw my noble blood,
and these verses are mine, pious Balbilla."

Notice that there is no mention of Aka anywhere here. What happened was a transcription error. Various scholars have read different things at the end of verse 15. Some scholars read it as AKA or a variation of it and decided that it must be a reference to her grandmother's name. Andre and Etienne Bernand argue in Les inscriptions grecques et latines du colosse de Memnon (1960) that if you look at the photograph of the inscription they are using it clearly says αμμας, which simply means mother in Latin, which makes a lot more sense in the context of the verse.